The Glamorous Show
‘Krakow is a marvellous city. I will certainly want to come back here. I feel happy that I have met you and it is a great honour for me to receive this award,’ said the British composer Craig Armstrong during yesterday’s The Glamorous Show gala when receiving the Wojciech Kilar Award from the hands of deputy mayors of Krakow and Katowice. On the Sunday evening, during the finale of the 12th Film Music Festival in TAURON Arena Kraków, we could hear Armstrong’s hits and arrangements from the biggest film-music superproductions, such as Romeo and Juliet, The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge! directed by Baz Luhrmann.
The last day of the festival started with meetings held as part of the FMF Audiovisual Forum – we talked, among others, about the life of film music beyond cinema and about the awards that composers could receive for their contribution to film as an intertextual work of art. In the early afternoon, we returned to music by Alexandre Desplat – in the historic interiors of the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków, we heard chamber arrangements of themes from Girl with a Pearl Earring by Peter Webber, The Ghost Writer by Roman Polański, The Tree of Life by Terrence Malick and Coco Chanel by Anne Fontaine. The music was played by the Traffic Quintet – an ensemble founded by violinist Dominique ‘Solrey’ Lemonnier, Alexander Desplat’s wife, 14 years ago. The composer performed flute and percussion parts as a guest. The music was accompanied by film shots presenting the most beautiful corners of Paris.
In the evening, we invited the audience of the 12th FMF to the Glamorous Show – a spectacular gala featuring orchestra, choir, soloists and an ensemble of dancers. A special guest was the British composer Craig Armstrong – the winner of the Golden Globe for his soundtrack for Moulin Rouge! by Baz Luhrmann. During the yesterday’s ceremony, Armstrong received the statuette of the Wojciech Kilar Award, which the authorities of Krakow and Katowice grant every year to a selected film music composer for his creativity, skilful use of musical language and care of the composer’s ethos. ‘I have created soundtracks and arrangements for the last few decades, and I must admit that it is great fun for me to do this. Of course, this work has also its difficult sides – in a musical, the worst moment always comes when actors stop speaking and start to sing. You need to make a great effort to ensure a smooth transition that will not surprise the listener. The primary success of Moulin Rouge! is that you cannot see any seams,’ said Craig Armstrong during his Saturday meeting with fans.
The repertoire of the spectacular gala included the most beautiful songs from superproductions containing Armstrong’s music – there were suites from Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby, as well as themes from Love Actually by Richard Curtis. All of this was performed by the Beethoven Academy Orchestra, the Pro Musica Mundi Choir and the ensemble of Jan Stokłosa – the arranger of the songs concerned. The composer played the piano as a guest; the whole performance was led by the Polish conductor, composer and pianist Krzysztof Herdzin. The spectacular atmosphere was ensured by the author of choreography Santiago Bello along with a group of dancers (Dominika Dąbkowska, Urszula Dral, Ewelina Kruk, Agata Łubieńska, Patryk Gładyś, Mateusz Muniak, and Michał Paczuski), and the burlesque narration of the evening was created by soloists: Natasza Urbańska, Natalia Nykiel, Barbara Kurdej-Szatan, Maria Sadowska, Igor Walaszek, and Jakub Wocial. ‘These emotions are beyond description, even if we feel at home with the musical and we know its convention inside out,’ said Barbara Kurdej-Szatan after leaving the stage. ‘For me, the emotions and the stress were particularly big because I have never performed in front of such a large audience. I dreamt of taking part in a performance like this,’ confessed Jakub Wocial. The audience of the 12th FMF was the huge driving force for Natasza Urbańska, too. ‘It is a gorgeous moment for an artist when you do not see faces from the stage, but you feel the audience with every part of you. When entering the stage, I think: “I am afraid to look, I am afraid to look!”. And then something happens that makes me open up to them and I feel that this is a dream come true,’ said Urbańska during the break of the concert.
During the yesterday’s gala in TAURON Arena Kraków, we also awarded the prestigious title of FMF Ambassador, which is supposed to distinguish music and film personages who build the importance and industry relations of the festival in Poland and abroad. The award was received from the hands of Izabela Helbin – Director of the Krakow Festival Office and Robert Piaskowski – Artistic Director of the FMF by Ray Costa – a TV journalist and the founder of the leading Hollywood PR company Costa Communications.
The Glamorous Show in TAURON Arena Kraków concluded the 12th Film Music Festival in Krakow. Almost 40,000 spectators took part in this year’s festival concerts and events.